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Monkeypox: What You Need to Know

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is not a new disease. It has been around for years, with the first human case recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Typically, monkeypox occurs in Central and West Africa. All but one state in the U.S. has reported cases of monkeypox, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Signs and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of monkeypox are fevers, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and a characteristic rash, general body aches, malaise, and muscle aches. The first symptoms are flu-like, and are usually followed by a rash that forms blisters before scabbing over.  According to the CDC, the time from infection to symptoms for monkeypox is usually 7 to 14 days, but it can range from 5 to 21 days. People may be contagious at the early signs of fever and stay infectious through the rash until the skin heals over.

Monkeypox affects all age groups. Monkeypox is a communicable disease that can affect anyone regardless of age, race or gender. 

How it Spreads

How do you get monkeypox?

  • You can get monkeypox from close, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has a rash or scabs from monkeypox.
    • For example, this can include during hugging, cuddling, a massage, or close contact sports.
  • It also includes contact with spit droplets during close conversation and kissing.
  • It can also spread through sexual contact.
  • You can also get monkeypox from contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.


There are medications to treat monkeypox. The monkeypox vaccine is available in limited supply with a prescription through the Department of Health. It is not available through Student Health or the NSU Pharmacy. Medications developed to treat smallpox are available for patients who are at risk for more severe disease from monkeypox. Standard treatments are available for symptoms of pain and itching from lesions and can be prescribed by a healthcare provider. In most cases, the monkeypox infection is mild and resolves itself without treatment.


To prevent Monkeypox:

  • Avoid close contact with infected individuals.
  • Wear a mask and eye protection around those infected with the disease.
  • If you are in a high-risk group, get the Monkeypox vaccine.

What to Do

If you think you have been exposed to monkeypox, contact your health care provider as soon as possible.


Concerned about your health? Make an appointment with Student Health Services by calling 954-262-4100 or see your personal healthcare provider to have a medical evaluation done.

If I have questions, who can answer them?  It’s important to talk honestly with a healthcare provider about any concerns you may have about monkeypox, especially if you know you spent time with someone who had monkeypox. You can request time alone with a healthcare provider at your next visit to discuss your concerns in private.

For more information, visit the CDC webpage.

Additional Resources

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